Q.Why did you become a custom home builder?
A. We remodeled homes years ago — that’s how we started. My grandfather was a carpenter and I spent a lot of time with him when I was young. He built homes and I enjoyed being around that. I graduated from college with degrees in accounting and finance. I did that in corporate for a while, but I always had a passion for building things. I started renovating homes on nights and weekends. That hobby officially turned into a business in 2012 and we transitioned into building new custom homes in 2015.
Q. Tell us about your design process.
A. We start at a very high level. Folks always ask if we have plans, which we do, but we don’t start there. I always start with a discussion – I want to understand how they are going to live, who is going to live in the home, what they are doing on a daily basis. With that formula we can talk about what rooms they need, where they need to be in the home, adjacencies, and spaces. With that, if something they’re describing sounds very similar to something I’ve built before, then I will pull out plans. I’ll say, “Yeah, we’ve built this, here’s what it looks like. Here’s a finished picture of it.” Many times, we take aspects from multiple plans and pull them together. But I like to start at a high level and drill down into details. I think if you just pull out a set of plans, people focus more on fixing that those plans rather than designing something that’s going to 100% work for them.
Q. How many homes do you build a year?
A. We have slots to start up to four homes a month. We’ll build 36 to 40 homes a year – that’s right in our sweet spot.
Q.What is your home building style?
A. We build everything. I think folks associate Redknot with modern homes because we’ve built a lot of them in Cincinnati where that style is more popular. A lot of our clients are simply looking for something different. We have built everything from ultra-modern to farmhouse and everything in between.
Our homes last year were more transitional with some modern and traditional design elements combined. In our new Milford subdivision coming this spring, we want to pay tribute to all the traditional architecture in Old Milford and build homes that blend in with the community. We will not build modern homes there. The insides can look like whatever clients want, but we want the outside to be complimentary to the community.
Q. Do you like to have market homes under construction, or do you try to go the total custom route?
A. We do both. We did a number of market homes last year. I built a modern market home in Parkside Estates just to do something different. I wanted to show a more modern ranch that isn’t typical of the Anderson area. It sold as soon as we put trusses on the home.
In the past, we built a lot of spec and market homes. This year, we have such a backlog of client homes that we don’t have any market homes planned. We’ve actually pulled out of some home shows this year because we want to focus on building our clients’ homes.
Q.Do you have specific areas where you prefer to build?
A. We try to stay close to where we’re already building. We’re currently building in Liberty Township and down 71 and 275 on the East Side. We have communities sprinkled throughout the city and suburbs. I try to keep my construction managers within a certain radius of our communities. I have one construction manager focused on the Liberty Township area, one in Anderson, one in Northern Kentucky and one in Cincinnati. We try to keep our bubbles tight.
Q. When its time for clients to select colors, cabinets, and countertops, do you Do have a dedicated design center or designers to help them with that?
A. We have two interior designers on staff. We do have a design center in our office, located in East Walnut Hills. We do a lot of selection reviews in that design center. For example, we have a variety of brick there that are used in 90% of our homes. If a client doesn’t see what they like in the design center, they can go to our vendors’ showrooms to see more.
Q. What is your favorite part of the process?
A. I like to see the home being built. Seeing something on paper can be bland, but when you’re looking at a set of 2-D plans, the home becomes a reality. I always enjoy that. Last year we had multiple clients cry when they saw in person, how big the rooms are and what their view is. It’s a rewarding experience to help a client’s vision come to life.